Master of Science in Cyber-Physical Systems


The Master of Science, MS, Cyber-Physical Systems with a concentration in the Internet of Things (IoT) prepares our graduates for a world of connected devices. The program integrates the study of wireless networking, protocols, sensor networks, security, software development, embedded systems, data analytics, and big data to provide students with the knowledge and tools to develop IoT applications, to analyze and design IoT architectures for different application domains, and to develop data analytic tools to analyze the large amounts of data generated by the massive deployment of IoT devices.

Students learn and develop field-wide skills in networking and communications, embedded systems, data analytics, software development, cloud and edge computing, digital twins, and management of big data. They develop a deep understanding of IoT technologies, standards, topologies, architectures, and solutions for different domains, from building embedded IoT devices and deploying IoT networks to designing decision-making next-generation AI IoT applications. Relevant IoT initiatives, like Industrial IoT (IIoT), Smart City, Connected Health, Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X), and Automated Home are key focuses of this program.

It is expected that careers in this rapidly evolving area will encompass industry sectors ranging from energy, healthcare, and transportation, to infrastructure and manufacturing.


Innovative Curriculum - MS in Cyber Physical Systems

Cyber-Physical Systems are key to the development of humanity for the next 100 years. They enable the interaction of humans, smart devices, robots, sensors, and actuators to support the Fourth Industrial Revolutions and other initiatives ranging from Smart City and Building Automation to V2X (Vehicle to Everything Communication) and Connected Health.

Cyber-Physical Systems combine three main components: (1) sensors and actuators (in smart devices and robots), (2) smart applications, and (3) Internet of Things (IoT) communication protocols, and technologies that connect sensors and actuators with applications.

Cyber-Physical Systems involve cutting-edge technological innovations: (1) IoT protocols, (2) cloud, fog, and mist computing, (3) modern embedded software design, (4) artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques, (5) data mining, (6) IoT blockchain-based smart contracts, and (7) 3GPP 5G and 6G mobile communications.

The main goal of the College of Engineering Cyber-Physical Systems’ program is to build the next generation of engineers that can build and test Cyber-Physical Systems. The program is industry-driven and, as such, focuses on several industry-driven initiatives:

  • Industry 4.0
  • Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X)
  • Connected Health
  • Home Automation
  • Smart Building

The classes and the program content focus on three areas:

Smart Devices. Embedded Software Development Introductory (core class) and Advanced, Edge Computing, AI on Devices and Tiny ML, Hardware Architectures, Device Security (electives)

IoT Protocols. Fundamentals of IoT (core class), Data Networks, 5G Networks, Unified Communications, Software Defined Networks, Network and Communication Security (electives)

Smart Applications. Object Oriented Development and Connected Devices (core classes), Digital Twin, Cloud Computing, AI/ML, Data Mining, Blockchains (electives)

Most classes include labs and, whenever needed, hardware is provided. In addition, industry specific classes are offered as electives (e.g., Industry 4.0). Selected classes of other colleges within Northeastern University are available to students.

Graduates of the program are highly sought-after by industry, and their career paths primarily lead to practical applications in industry.

The MS in Cyber-Physical Systems is available on Northeastern’s campus in Boston, MA and at the campus in Toronto, Canada.

Note: A subset of program courses are available at campuses outside of Boston.

Toronto, Canada Campus: This institution has been granted consent by the Minister of Colleges and Universities to offer this degree program for a five-year term starting January 18, 2023. Prospective students are responsible for satisfying themselves that the program and the degree will be appropriate to their needs (e.g., acceptable to potential employers, professional licensing bodies or other educational institutions.)

Graduates of the program are highly sought-after by industry, and their career paths primarily lead to practical applications in industry.

Cyber-physical systems market will reach an estimated value of  $12.3 billion by 2028 and grow at a CAGR of 10.55% in the forecast period of 2021 to 2028, according to Data Bridge Market Research. Increase in the penetration of internet acts as an essential factor driving the cyber-physical systems market.

Cyber physical systems have applications across industries such as healthcare, energy, automation, agriculture, transportation, and manufacturing, with adoption of artificial intelligence and the internet of things furthering market growth in industries.

  • An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems.
  • An ability to explain and apply engineering design principles, as appropriate to the program’s educational objectives.
  • An ability to produce solutions that meet specified end-user needs with consideration of economic factors, and, where relevant, factors related to public policy, safety, and the environment.
  • Strong working knowledge of the computer languages required to build IoT applications, both on IoT devices and on the network/server side.
  • A comprehensive understanding of the range of wireless and application protocols that support different IoT application domains
  • An ability to work in a team environment to design and develop a complete IoT application using both high-level and low-level computer languages and a range of software configuration tools.

Beyond the classroom, students gain exposure through clubs and resources such as:

  • The Cyber-Physical Systems Lab in Boston, which is open to applied research
  • IoT Connect Club which links students to industry
  • Membership to standardized bodies (e.g., Thread, OPC, etc.)

Over 15 graduate certificates are available to provide students the opportunity to develop a specialization in an area of their choice. Certificates can be taken in addition to or in combination with a master’s degree, or provide a pathway to a master’s degree in Northeastern’s College of Engineering. Master’s programs can also be combined with a Gordon Engineering Leadership certificate. Students should consult with their faculty advisor regarding these options.

Unique Features

  • Located in innovation hubs. Boston is ranked No. 4 worldwide as a national and international hub for IoT activities, industrial IoT, cyber-twins, wearable electronics, and predictive analytics. Toronto is the center for IoT in Canada, home to the Cisco Innovation Center and many startups in Ontario
  • Professional networking opportunities through organizations and resources beyond the classroom such as the IoT Connect Club and membership in various standardized bodies
  • Top ranked cooperative education program giving students the opportunity to gain up to eight months of professional experience in their field of interest as part of the academic curriculum
  • Flexibility to align the program to career goals through a variety of electives and the program can be pursued full- and part-time
  • Project-based coursework for experiential learning
  • Institutional strengths with accomplished faculty and resources in networks, wireless communications, data science and analytics, and software engineering and databases

Experiential Learning

Northeastern combines rigorous academics with experiential learning and research to prepare students for real-world engineering challenges. The Cooperative Education Program, also known as a “co-op,” is one of the largest and most innovative in the world, and Northeastern is one of only a few that offers a Co-op Program for graduate students. Through this program, students gain up to eight months of professional experience employed in their field of  interest as part of the academic curriculum, giving them a competitive advantage after graduation. Northeastern has over 3,000 co-op employer partners, from large companies to entrepreneurial start-ups, and dedicated co-op coordinators to guide students through the process.

Program Contact

Rolando Herrero
Rolando Herrero
Program Director,  Cyber-Physical Systems
Program Director,  Telecommunication Networks

Academic Advising

The Academic Advisors in the Graduate Student Services office can help answer many of your questions and assist with various concerns regarding your program and student record. Use the link below to also determine which questions can be answered by your Faculty Program Advisors and OGS Advisors.

Admissions & Aid

Ready to take the next step? Review degree requirements to see courses needed to complete this degree. Then, explore ways to fund your education. Finally, review admissions information to see our deadlines and gather the materials you need to Apply.

Student Highlights

Cyber Physical Systems Program Rounds Out Student’s Education

After working for a start-up and receiving a patent in gesture recognition technology, Pragnya Kondrakunta, MS’23, cyber physical systems, advanced her education at Northeastern. She conducted real-world project-based coursework, selected flexible electives to map to her career goals, and gained experience on co-op as a software engineer at Lake Homes Realty.

Redefining an Engineering Career With an MS in Cyber Physical Systems

Jeffrey Machyo, MS’23, cyber physical systems, decided to shift gears to the embedded systems field when he was working as an electrical engineer at an electric power company in Kenya. At Northeastern, he completed a co-op at Desktop Metal, which gave him hands-on experience with programable devices and set him up for a successful career change.

Nitin Sunda

MS in Cyber Physical Systems Student Gets Job Offers at Both Amazon and Nokia

Nitin Sunda, ME’21, cyber physical systems with the internet of things concentration, credits the skills that he learned in class with him landing a co-op at tech company Nokia. His program is at Northeastern’s Silicon Valley campus. Now he has full time job offers from Nokia and Amazon.

student portrait

Cyber-Physical Systems Experience for the Connected World

Aurobindo Samantaray, ME’21, cyber-physical systems, joined the Northeastern community in January 2020. He came to Northeastern for its co-op program, bringing with him professional experience in embedded systems by working with large companies in the automotive industry—build automation. Samantaray worked on various software and products that have lifesaving capabilities such as airbags and occupant classification […]